Friday, March 5, 2010

Quickie Pizza Friday

I'm short on time, so I'm just throwing this out there.

What happens with you spread Whole Wheat Pizza Dough with leftover garlicky black beans and raw broccoli...
and then bake it at 425.
You get amazing pizza.  Yeahhhhhhhhh ..........


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Amazing, Incredible Soup. And Cornbread.

As the title suggests, dinner wassssssss AMAZING.  INCREDIBLE soup.  AND cornbread.  WOW!

I started with this cornbread recipe.  I followed the recipe exactly, for maybe the first time ever.  
I melted down a stick of buttah. 
While it melted, I mixed some milk, white vinegar, and eggs together. 
In a separate bowl I mixed cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and OH MY GOODNESS I FORGOT  THE BAKING SODA!!  That's probably why the consistency was off.  Oh, silly me. 
 When the butter was done, it was mixed into the liquid mix (while stirring so the eggs didn't cook!)
and then everything was mixed together.
Do you have any idea how hard it is too take a picture of yourself with a SLR while licking a whisk?  Try it sometime.  

Anyway, I spread it all out into the pan (Yes, I used the butter wrapper method to grease it) and John baked it @ 375 for a while.  
I didn't manage to snap a photo before it was eaten.  Oops.

The soup was based on this recipe, but I had to make some changes.  
First I chopped up onions and garlic
 and threw them in the pan I had melted the butter in. 
Then I chopped up a sweet potato,
and that went in too.
After 5 minutes I added about 10 frozen chicken broth cubes, a can of tomato sauce, 1/2 a can of water, lots of black beans, salt, oregano, aaaaand
Confession:  I had never before used cumin.  
It was so good!  What a great spice!  It really deepened the flavor of the dish.  I guess venturing away from garlic, oregano, parsley, and basil can be enlightening.  
I cooked it all partially uncovered until the liquid was reduced.  


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chicken and Beans

Lunch was awesome yesterday!  It was just leftovers, but somehow it was incredibly delicious!

It was some leftover garlicky black beans, some leftover lemony chick peas, some plain black beans, and some leftover tiny chicken pieces, the kind I usually use in soups.  

For dinner, I roasted a chicken.  I know I do this a lot, but I just love roasting a chicken in the crock pot.  I don't think it gets better than that.  I haven't posted a photo of this with my new camera yet, so I thought I would treat you!
That is simply a chicken, adobo, parsley, and about 6 cloves of garlic shoved in the cavity.  All that juice is produced while it is cooking!  I just can't get over it!  
I am, of course, making broth again.  

I haven't told you about making broth in the crock pot?  Oh my.  It is so easy.  After you cook the chicken, cut off the breasts (I save them for another meal), legs, thighs, and wings.  I add in the bones and skin that we don't eat back into the pot.  I also add a splash of apple cider vinegar.  I let that sit for a while to help draw the minerals out of the bones.  It then gets covered in water and the crock pot goes on low overnight.  

The next morning it is strained twice.  
The first time, I pick through the leftover meat and save it for making soup at a later date.  
The second time I am just trying to get the broth as free from debris as possible.  The liquid gets popped into the fridge to get the fat to float to the top.  
Now I know, most people who make bone broth just leave the fat in for the health benefits.  I am not quite there yet in my whole food journey.  Maybe someday, but not right now.  

The extra fat gets scooped off and then the broth is frozen in baggies and in ice cubes. 
That's it!  Easy, right?!


Black Bean Brownies

I decided to jump up onto the black bean brownie train.  I have been seeing it appear on blog after blog and it always looks.... cool.  I had a bag of dried brown beans, so I figured why not join in?

The recipe I used was based off of of the Happy Herbivore's version because it was a bit healthier.  Some of the others I had seen included multiple sticks of butter and things of that nature.  The only problem was the binding agent.  You'll see, later.  

After soaking the black beans in cold water overnight and boiling them for about an hour and half, I measured out 15 ounces of  beans. 
The recipe called for cocoa powder, but of course, I didn't have any, so I melted down some baking chocolate to equal the same amount. 
The other ingredients were added in (agave, cinnamon, vanilla) and then I had a problem.  The binding agent?  2 BANANAS.  
John hates bananas. 
After hemming and hawing, I settled on using only 1 banana and then supplementing it with 1 egg.  I was afraid to get rid of the bananas totally because I there wasn't much else included along the lines of sweeteners. 
After this was all mixed up together, and some oats thrown in for good measure, I greased the 8x8 pan.
Could I be more frugal?  After I finish a stick of butter, I throw the wrapper in the freezer.  When it is time to grease a pan, I just use the wrapper.  I can get 2 8x8 pans greased with 1 wrapper.  LOVE saving money!
The batter was then smeared into the pan and baked. 
The finished result was just okay.  John didn't like it, but he didn't know why.  He couldn't taste the banana until after I told him it was there.  I think it just needs to be a little less healthy.  

Fear not.  I will try it again.  


Monday, March 1, 2010

Meal Planning

Ahhhh... Happy Monday!
The Meal Plan for this week is pretty darn simple.  

Monday- Leftovers/Dinner with Family
Wednesday- Black Bean/Chicken Soup with Cornbread
Thursday- Dinner with Family
Friday- Pizza Friday!
Saturday- Leftovers
Sunday-Dinner with Family
Monday-Rachael Ray Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Ta Da! Check back later this week for the results!

See more menu plans at Organizing Junkie